GRIFFITH PARK—The Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) announced on Wednesday, May 20 their plans to still bring the annual Free Shakespeare Festival to Griffith Park despite the current coronavirus pandemic.
ISC was first founded in 1998 in New York where they put on their first production of Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” The company relocated to Los Angeles in 2001, and two years later partnered with the Department of Cultural Affairs to produce the Free Shakespeare Festival.
The festival was originally cancelled for 2020 due to the safer-at-home issued in March, becoming the first time for the company during its the 17-year run.
In an announcement on their website, ISC expressed concerns of the loss of funding through fundraisers that help allot for the free admissions to the festival but still made plans to bring the show to fans with a live stream performance of “The Comedy of Errors” in August.
Artistic Director and co-founder Melissa Chalma spoke to NBC Los Angeles stating:
“We’re looking at doing Shakespeare in the Parking Lot and kind of modeling it on drive through movie theaters which people are still going to now.”
Chalma indicated they are looking at ways to build a big enough stage to allow as many cars to be able to see as well as making plans to make it streamable for those to watch in the comfort of their homes.
The Independent Shakespeare Company has yet to release a timeline on when they hope to have the festival ready for audiences.